The Musorgsky Reader: A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents

By Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky; Jay Leyda et al. | Go to book overview

this had been arranged with Leonova and Gridnin, and he hopes that "Marfa" will go perfectly with one rehearsal (the 2nd) . . .17

The Persian Dances Orchestrated

. . . The Persian dances were already listed on the programme, but there was no sign of a score. What was to be done! Musorgsky wasn't around--so Nikolai Andreyevich [ Rimsky-Korsakov], without any lengthy meditation, sat down and orchestrated this number. The piece had a great success at the concert: Musorgsky was called out several times; he was extraordinarily happy and, when he finally returned from the platform, more than once repeated, with positively childish naïveté, that he was very happy that everything had gone off as well as it had and that he himself would have orchestrated it "exactly" as Korsakov had done; and that he was simply amazed with what finesse Rimsky had guessed all his intentions, while Musorgsky took absolutely no notice of the harmonic changes that Nikolai Andreyevich had made in the orchestration18 . . . --VASILI YASTREBTZEV


208. To LUDMILA SHESTAKOVA

Dear little dove of mine, Ludmila Ivanovna, with your good words and your frank talk to me, involving matters of worldly vanities, you have blessed my feeling as an artist and as a human being. Yes, little dove, dear Ludmila Ivanovna, if I should dare to betray, to surrender, to treat art and myself lightly, I should not have in my consciousness those profoundly heartfelt words--those with which you have blessed me. What has been received from you--is holy. Once more you stood at the fountainhead of genuine feeling, and not dim consciousness, regardless of present-day warriors for art and well-wishers for its blessedness. Glinka was saved by you and you alone, in the tiniest gleams of his artistic doings; Glinka, through the power of your activity, was made clear in the development of his creative power; Glinka was given by you to all the world's knowledge in the greatest creation of his genius Ruslan and Ludmila--honor and pride of the Russian

____________________
17
On November 27, at a concert of the Free Music School, three excerpts from Khovanshchina were to be presented under the direction of Rimsky-Korsakov: Awakening and Exit of the Streltzi, Marfa's song (sung by Leonova), and the Dance of the Persian Maidens.
18
As Rimsky-Korsakov's adoring Boswell, Yastrebtzev's impartiality on this point is open to doubt.

-397-

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